Saudi Arabia Intercepts Ballistic Missile Near Capital

November 4, 2017 Updated: November 4, 2017

The Saudi Ministry of Defense confirmed on Sunday that it intercepted a ballistic missile northeast of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, the Guardian reported.

“Saudi air defense intercepts ballistic missile northeast of Riyadh,” a statement on Saudi state TV said.

The missile was “was of limited size” the state TV report said and there were “no injuries or damage.” Local media shared an image of what appeared to be a missile fragment found near a highway.

One video posted on social media shows what appears to be an air defense system firing several searing projectiles into the sky until an explosion is heard. Another video taken from an airport shows black smoke rising into the night sky in the distance.

Yemen’s air force confirmed that it had launched the missile targeting the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.

Despite the intercept, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said that the attack was a success because it “shook the Saudi capital.”

Yemen said that it developed the long-range missile, codenamed Burqan 2H.

The missile intercept is the first of its kind in the heart of Saudi Arabia’s capital and marks an escalation in the ongoing conflict, CNN reported.

In a Twitter message, King Khalid International Airport wrote that it was not affected by the strike.

“Travelers across King Khalid international airport in Riyadh, we assure you that the movement is going on as normal and usual, and trips going according to time,” the airport said on Twitter.

“We previously warned that capitals of countries attacking Yemen will not be safe from our ballistic missiles,” Mohammed AbdulSalam, a Houthi spokesman, said. “Today’s missile attack comes in response to Saudi killing innocent Yemeni civilians.”

Meanwhile, a senior Yemeni air official told CNN that the claims that the missile was intercepted are false.

“The Saudi regime cannot hide the heavy fires that were seen by thousands of Saudi nationals in the King Khalid Airport premises as result of the Yemeni missile,” the official said. “This is not the end. Saudi cities will be a continuous target. We are entering a new phase.”

Yemen is divided as a Saudi-backed government continues a drawn-out conflict against Iran-backed Houthi rebels. A Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to prop up the sitting government after rebels seized Yemen’s capital. The rebels continue to control most of Yemen to this day.

The United Nations-backed talks to end the conflict but has had little effect. More than 8,600 people have died since the Saudi-led coalition intervened.

An additional 2,100 people died in a cholera outbreak in Yemen that began in April. Hospitals are struggling to secure supplies as the coalition continues to block supplies via sea and air.

The United Nations said Yemen is on the brink of famine.

From NTD.tv

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